Rangers end title defence

January 4, 2019 | Townsville Fire news

The JCU Townsville Fire’s title defence is officially over following a 72-77 loss to Dandenong.

Needing to win to keep their slim play-off hopes alive, Micaela Cocks had a late three-point attempt to force overtime rim out in her 200th game for the club after engineering a stirring comeback.

The acting captain had Townsville Stadium on their feet as she drained her second triple to cut the margin to three after trailing by as many as 14 with less than five minutes to play.

There would be no fairytale for the three-time championship winner on this occasion, however, as Dandenong skulked away with a narrow win.

Laurin Mincy was simply brilliant with 18 points and four rebounds to be named the First Things First MVP, while Zitina Aokuso chimed in with 15 points and five rebounds.

“It’s disappointing,” Fire coach Claudia Brassard.

“That last shot looked like it was down – and Mic would have loved for it to go down that’s for sure – but she’s been a remarkable player for this club over an extended period of time.

“She’s such a selfless and hard-working athlete and she should be extremely proud of playing 200 games for the Fire.”

After trailing by eight at quarter-time, the Fire was able to cut the margin to one at the main change after going on a surge.

The Rangers broke the contest open in the second half before the late comeback.

The Fire will now look to close their season out strongly with a home fixture against the UC Capitals next Friday before a return bout with the Rangers in Dandenong the following Sunday.

Click here to see box scores between the Fire and the Rangers.